The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today added its voice
to that of journalists in Africa and around the world who have been shocked by
the news of the death of leading Cameroonian journalist Pius Njawe who has
been killed in a car accident in the United States.
"Pius Njawe was a great friend of press freedom and also a loyal supporter of journalists, not just in Africa, but around the world," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "As an editor he was courageous and as an employer of journalists he always respected the need for decent working conditions -- one of the key foundations of a democratic media culture. We mourn his loss and we send our sympathy to the journalists of Cameroon."
According to press reports, Njawe was killed on Monday 12 July as the car he was travelling in broke down on the free way and was hit from behind by a truck, killing him and another passenger. He was in the country to attend a conference in Washington organised by the Cameroonian Diaspora on the political situation in Cameroon.
Pius Njawe was editor -in -chief of le Messager newspaper which he created in 1979. He led various campaigns for press freedom and independent journalism in Cameroon and, as a result, was arrested on many occasions by the authorities.
The Syndicat national des journalistes du Cameroun(SNJC), an IFJ affiliate, said in a statement that Pius Njawé was one of the negotiators of the national collective convention which was signed in 2008. He was very much instrumental in the negotiation process, at a time when most of his fellow editors deliberately boycotted meetings as an attempt to frustrate the process, the statement says.
Pius Njawe had over recent years taken a keen interest in road safety in Cameroon after his wife died a few years ago, also in a road accident between Yaoundé and Douala, reports say.
For more information contact the IFJ at +32 235 2207
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide